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The Ultimate Guide to Loft Conversion Planning Permission

Here at Bespoke Lofts, we understand that the loft planning consent process is often the most daunting aspect of the whole project. But don’t be put off; every reputable loft conversion company will happily talk you through and support you at each and every stage of the build.


So what exactly do you need to know about planning permission for loft conversions? Let’s sum up all the essentials for you.


Is planning consent for attic conversions always required?


First things first, it’s good to know that permission isn’t always required for a loft conversion project. In most cases, attic conversions will fall under Permitted Development Rights, depending on size.


However, if you plan to extend beyond the limits of Permitted Development, or if your property is listed or within a conservation area, then you will need to apply for planning permission.


Also, if you are hoping to significantly alter the roof (if you’re changing its height or shape), then you’ll definitely need planning permission. Remember that rooflights and dormer windows can often be installed as part of Permitted Development, but they must not protrude forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation, or be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.


What to bear in mind for loft planning consent?


If you do require permission for a loft conversion then it’s important to work with your architect and loft builders to ensure your plans are approved by the local authority.


Aspects you’ll need to consider include ensuring the materials used are similar in appearance to the existing house and that side-facing windows are obscure-glazed for privacy protection.


You will need to engage a specialist architect if your loft extension features an aspect such as a veranda, balcony or raised platform, as these will need to be in-keeping with the rest of your home, or be designed to add to it aesthetically.


Loft planning consent and Building Regulations


Whether or not you need planning permission to convert your loft, you will need to comply with Building Regulations.


This means that fire safety regulations must be followed; structural regulations adhered to; sound insulation in place and stairs located correctly. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, but your loft conversion company will be able to advise further and will take guidance from the Building Inspector.


Anything else to consider aside from consent from the planning department?


What else is required of your build will be dictated by the type of property and the various aspects of your loft conversion. For example, if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property, you may need a Party Wall Agreement to agree with your neighbours that any work you carry out will not endanger their property.


If you live in a leasehold property such as a flat, you will need written permission from the freeholder before carrying out the conversion.


If you suspect that bats are living in your loft, you’ll need to have an independent bat survey carried out.


These are just examples of some of the permissions you may need, and your loft conversion company will be able to advise further based on your individual circumstances.


Your personal guide to loft conversion planning permission


At Bespoke Lofts it’s our job is to guide you through obtaining all the relevant permissions for your build. If you’re ready to start the loft conversion process, get in touch for the expert advice you need.

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